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Course Descriptions

Fall 2015

WSGS 556 / PHIL 556-61: Foucault

T 6:00 - 8:40 p.m. (F. Evans)
In his intellectual career, Foucault passed through a number of stages (existential phenomenological, hermeneutical, archaeological, and genealogical). Each new stage was marked by a reinterpretation of his past work in terms of his latest approach. Foucault's genealogical stage is the most discussed in recent scholarship on his work and preserves important aspects of his preceding "archaeological" period. We will therefore begin with some selections from his archaeological period and then focus on his genealogical works as well as on the ethical, "governmentality," and parrhesia writings that overlap with them. We will also view Foucault's genealogy and his ethical and political thought in relation to some major authors and themes in contemporary political and ethical philosophy, feminism, and gay and lesbian thought. As a possible option for those who are interested, I will meet for a number of after-class sessions to discuss Gilles Deleuze's book on Foucault, but it will not be an official part of the course.

WSGS 696 / ENGL 695: Ethnic American Literature by Women Writers

M 6:00 - 8:40 p.m. (M. Michael)
This course will examine recent American ethnic literature by women writers in terms of its engagement with gender as well as with other difficult issues such as race, ethnicity, class, subjectivity, identity, American identity, immigration, colonialism, violence-issues that are usually intertwined, that have dominated globally at the turn of the twenty-first century, and that have become increasingly visible to Americans. At the same time the course will examine the difficulties literature faces in engaging such issues in the wake of the questioning of representation and language that has characterized literature throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. Texts will be considered individually as well as in relation to their larger cultural, historical, and intellectual contexts. The course is also intended to enhance the students' experience and skills of critical thinking, reading, and writing about literature within the context of literary studies.

Spring 2015

WSGS 501 / HIST 501: Medieval Europe

W 6:00-8:40 p.m. (J. Parsons)
A lecture and discussion course examining the unique characteristics of the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages, with a special focus on social history and the lives of medieval people, from 300 to 1500. We will concentrate on the history of women. Women of course made up half of the population of medieval Europe though, as is the case in most pre-modern societies, their presence in the historical record is not nearly in that proportion. Nevertheless, they played a vital role at all levels of society, and scholars have been able to reconstruct a great deal of their experience from the sources available. Aside from the inherent importance of the subject, studying medieval women's history provides an overview of what is probably the most active and innovative subfield in medieval history, and offers examples of many of the most important and up-to-date methodologies in the field. Over the first half of the course, we will generally alternate between general surveys of the course of medieval history and examination of specialized monographs on issues in women's history. The second half of the course will be devoted to case studies and the analysis of primary sources in women's history.

WSGS 505 / PLCR 505: Values, Ethics, and Policy

M 6:00-8:40 p.m. (M. McIntyre)
What is a good public policy? This simple, often asked question already implies the central role ethics play in policy making. This course examines that role in light of the distinctive value structure that arises from the beliefs and institutions of American liberal democracy.

WSGS 529 / ENGL 692: Drama and Material Culture 1660-1830

M 6:00-8:40 p.m. (L. Engel)
Fans, gloves, patches, swords, muffs, china, feathers, and wigs, these are just some of the things represented in the theater of the long eighteenth century. This course will take a close look at the intersections between performance, gender, and material culture from 1660-1830. Considering texts (plays, memoirs, letters, pamphlet, periodicals), images (portraits, drawings, caricatures) and material artifacts (costumes, furniture, accessories), we will explore the complex relationship between things and subjects. The course will pay particular attention to the ways in which objects and accessories relate to the creation and materialization of gendered identities and constructions of sexuality during this period. We will read current scholarship on eighteenth-century consumerism, celebrity, fashion, and theater history as well as essays on performance theory, "thing" theory, gender theory, and the analysis of material and visual culture. Authors may include: Aphra Behn, William Wycherley, George Etherege, John Gay, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Hannah Cowley, Frances Burney, and Joanna Baillie.

WSGS 543 / LAWS C543-61: Employment Discrimination

T 6:00-8:40 p.m. (R. Kitchen)
This course is specifically concerned with discrimination in employment and will focus on various federal statutes that prohibit discrimination in employment. We will study employment discrimination through cases and scholarly materials.

WSGS 549 / ENGL 549-61 / ENGL 649-61: 19th Century American Literature

W 6:00-8:40 p.m. (T. Kinnahan)
The course will offer a survey of major American novels and short fiction from the nineteenth century, with particular attention to literary constructions of masculinity and femininity. Possible texts include Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper [1826], Hope Leslie, Catherine Maria Sedgwick [1827], Moby Dick, Herman Melville [1851], Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe [1851-2], The Story of Avis, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps [1877], Daisy Miller, Henry James [1878], Huck Finn, Mark Twain [1885], and Iola Leroy, Francis Harper [1893], along with assorted short fiction by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kate Chopin, Jack London, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and others.